“I spent my twenties trying to accept these vulnerabilities don’t make me weak.”
The final words of Personal History brought Ailbhe Reddy’s debut to a cathartic close, yet the internal struggle to accept the imperfect rages on within the Dublin songwriter on her sophomore record.
Endless Affair finds Reddy confronting her inner demons with the youthful wisdom, infectious angst and natural charm that won plaudits three years ago, but this is not a straightforward sequel. While it may best be described as a party album, Endless Affair concerns itself more so with aftereffects of the night before than celebrating the revelry of youth.
Reddy kicks off by taking us back to the fuzzy indie rock that defined Personal History, detailing messy nights out and messier relationships on the punchy refrains of ‘Shitshow’, ‘A Mess’ and ‘Inhaling’, but when we take a closer look at the morning after Endless Affair truly shines.
‘Last To Leave’ turns the record on its head with a sobering look in the mirror after an evening of excess, before the gorgeous ‘Shoulder Blades’ finds Reddy at her most romantic with a stirring vocal turn that perfectly compliments her tender prose over a shimmering bed of electric keys.
This stunning central pairing combined with a genuinely moving ode to her late grandmother on ‘Pray For Me’ highlight not only Reddy’s development as a vocalist and lyricist, but an evolving ability to craft deeper compositions both instrumentally and emotionally as the Dubliner continues her ascension on a vibrant second LP.
Ailbhe Reddy – Endless Affair
Words: Andrew Lambert